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Myasthenia Gravis

The musculoskeletal system of the body is afflicted in certain individuals by a rare and chronic condition called myasthenia gravis. A person afflicted with easily fatigued and weak muscles, which weaken progressively as the day ends, is a characteristic symptom of the condition. Some of the regions of the body, which are typically affected first, are the muscles in the throat, the neck and those of the facial region. Drooping and weakening of the eyelids is the first sign of the condition. The individual's speech can have a nasal tone to it, and also characteristic are the presence of double vision and problems with swallowing food.

These symptoms of the disease are episodic in appearance and can lie quiet for long intervals. Thus the symptoms can relapses or reappear in the person and can then cause a weakening and paralysis of the arms and legs of the affected individual. Muscular bulk is lost, though there is an absence of pain accompanying the symptoms, there is also no change in the ability to feel nor is there numbness. An enlarged thymus gland is very commonly observed. In rare cases life-threatening complications can arise because of the development of breathing problems as the condition progresses. A large majority of patients suffer only the mild form of the condition and this progress is not life threatening or debilitating.

The disorder of myasthenia gravis usually affects young women. An autoimmune attack is the underlying cause of the disorder, the immune system attacks the receptors that lie at the neuromuscular junction, and these receptors are responsible for communications between the muscles and the nerves. Thus muscle weakness results due to the poor conduction of nerve impulses and their impaired reception in the muscles. The real cause for the malfunctioning of the immune system remains unidentified, and the cause for its attack on those receptors at the neuromuscular junction is still a mystery. In babies born of afflicted mothers, the symptoms of myasthenia gravis begin within weeks after birth; thus this disorder can be inherited. The presence of physical and emotional stress, infections can induce episodic attacks as well as aggravate the symptoms of the disorder that are already present.

Supplements and herbs

The best and the most effective results have been obtained in some cases through the use of supplements combined with an improvement in the diet. The proper functioning and conduction of the nervous system is dependant on a good and sufficient supply of the vitamins B and E. An important and integral part of the neurotransmitter substance acetylcholine is synthesized from the B vitamin choline, which in itself requires the presence of several nutrients, like the other B vitamins and the mineral potassium for its synthesis. The essential supply of all the B vitamins required by the body is made by supplementation with a good B complex vitamin. The appearance of several other symptoms of myasthenia gravis is induced by an absence of sufficient levels of choline in the body. An excellent source for the choline is the compound called lecithin. Supplements of soy are the best sources for lecithin and can be taken along with the other supplements to reduce the symptoms of the disorder.

Because of their ability to support and enhance the body's immune system and its functioning, thus increasing overall resistance, supplements of the vitamin C in combination with the plant based natural substances called bioflavonoids should be utilized. The assimilation of choline into the body is carried out through the presence of manganese; this mineral is also essential for muscular contraction. Muscular coordination and strength are lost in its absence and hence supplements of manganese must also be consumed regularly.

All of these herbal remedies can be helpful in the treatment or alleviation of the disorder.

The calming and soothing effects of the St. John's wort herb on the nervous system can help alleviate this condition. Dosage of the herb for this purpose can be a single tbsp. of herbal juice or if preferred a cup of the herbal tea taken thrice a day as required or before bedtime during the treatment regimen. Supplemental use can also be made of several other herbs like the black cohosh, the gotu kola herb, the hops, the lady's slipper, sweet herbs like the licorice, herbs like the red clover, the skullcap, the valerian herb, herbs like the yarrow, and herbs like the yellow dock and finally the yucca. Dosage of these herbs can be a single tbsp. of the fresh herbal juice, or alternately use twenty drops of herbal tincture added in water. A herbal tea can also be made if the other forms are not preferred by the addition of a tsp. of the herbs and boiling it along with a cup of water, strain the mixture for a soothing and relaxing herbal tea that can be taken as and when required.

Homeopathy

Turning to homeopathy is useful in curing myasthenia gravis, because this medical discipline treats an entire person and not just the ailment or its symptoms. In other words, treatment with homeopathic remedies addresses a patient as an individual, while concentrating on his/ her pathological condition. In fact, the selection of appropriate homeopathic remedies requires a thorough examination of the individual as well as a case analysis. The case analysis is done by examining the patient's medical history, his/ her physical as well as mental disposition and several other aspects.

It has been found that a number of specific homeopathic remedies are useful in treating myasthenia gravis and these include Alumina, Gelsemium and Conium.

In addition, there are some other homeopathic remedies that may also be effective in treating myasthenia gravis as per the indications. These remedies include Cadmium, Carbo-animalis, Cocc., Graphites, Guare, Niccolum, Sepia, Psorinum and Zincum.

Additional things you may do

Extremely stressful situations and events must be avoided at all costs. Relaxation is very important in dealing with this condition so spend sufficient time on rest and relaxation each day.

It is not possible to cure myasthenia gravis by only using home remedies. Nevertheless, using home remedies may help in augmenting one's confidence as well as competence provided he/ she agrees to make some changes in their lifestyle and diet. Some of the changes that one can make are mentioned briefly below.

It is important that you take several small meals instead of having three main meals in a day. Eat only when you feel you are energetic and never bite food with pressure. Always try to eat soft foods, but keep away from foods that are sticky.

In places where you might require support, fix grab bars. In addition, ensure that you always keep your house clean, especially removing all things that may cause obstructions while you are walking, for instance, cloths, furniture, rug mats and so on. Also wear an eye patch. While working, always try to ensure that minimum is exerted on your muscles. Using electrical gadgets or tools that work through other powers will be helpful in this regard.

Lecithin, a cluster of fatty substances having a yellowish-brown hue and found in plants as well as animal tissues, such as egg yolk, as well as chlorophyll, the green pigment present in nearly all plants as well as algae, are essential for maintain the nerves' health. Therefore, using herbs like chamomile, comfrey, dong quai, lobelia, slippery elm, oat straw and wood betony may prove to be useful for the health of the nerves.

Ingestion of fatty acids will prove to be helpful in treating myasthenia gravis. Substances like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts and different nuts and seeds are excellent sources of fatty acids. In addition, coconut oil, hemp oil and olive oil help to improve the health and efficiency of the immune system. Foods like millet, buckwheat, rye and a broth prepared with red potato peels are useful for treating this condition.

People suffering from myasthenia gravis should be careful to keep away from intense heat as well as avoid stress. Keeping the house clean and maintaining hygiene are important. Fasting and taking diets comprising just vegetable and fruit juices also help in treating myasthenia gravis. Besides, people enduring this condition should essentially include foods rich in fiber content in their diet, as it will help in averting constipation. Drinking plenty of clean water also helps to avoid constipation and improving circulation.

Undertaking regular exercises is also helpful in curing myasthenia gravis. However, you need to be careful of not performing excessive exercise.

In case you are suffering from myasthenia gravis, you need to avoid certain foods, for instance white potatoes, white flour, eggplants, tomatoes, green as well as red peppers, fried foods, dairy products, cheese, all types of animal fats and meat. You should also quit using tobacco or reduce it to the minimum.

Usual dosage

  • Vitamin B complex, 50 mg thrice a day.
  • Vitamin C, (with bioflavonoids), 1,000 mg thrice a day.
  • Vitamin E,  400 IU two times a day.
  • Lecithin, three tbsp.
  • Multimineral complex.
  • Manganese, five mg.

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